SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son Leads Charge in $100 Billion AI Chip Venture

SoftBank's Masayoshi Son Leads Charge in $100 Billion AI Chip Venture

Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank, has thrown his hat into the ring of the AI chip race, aiming to raise a staggering $100 billion for his venture. This move comes hot on the heels of other tech giants like Nvidia, as the competition in the field of generative AI intensifies.

Reports from Bloomberg suggest that SoftBank plans to inject $30 billion of its own capital into the project, with an additional $70 billion potentially coming from investment firms based in the Middle East. This massive investment underscores Son’s ambition to challenge industry leader Nvidia in the graphics chip market.

The venture, codenamed Izanagi, is named after the Japanese god of creation and reflects Son’s vision to establish a formidable presence in the AI chip sector. It is designed to complement the business of UK-based chip designer Arm, in which SoftBank holds a significant 90% stake following its IPO.

This move by SoftBank follows Nvidia’s recent disclosure of acquiring a $147.3 million stake in Arm, a company that SoftBank acquired for $32 billion in 2016. Despite previous attempts to sell Arm to Nvidia for $40 billion in 2022, regulatory obstacles thwarted the deal.

Masayoshi Son isn’t the only player eyeing a piece of the AI chip market. Sam Altman, Co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, is reportedly in discussions with investors, including the UAE government, to secure funding for a tech initiative aimed at enhancing global chip-building capacity. The project, which could require an investment of up to $7 trillion, underscores the growing demand for high-end GPUs to power AI advancements.

Altman’s efforts align with the Biden administration’s push to bolster semiconductor production in the United States, amid concerns about China’s advancements in the field. Collaboration with government agencies is deemed crucial for initiatives like Altman’s, as they seek to navigate regulatory hurdles and ensure national priorities are addressed.

As the race for AI supremacy accelerates, the involvement of key players like SoftBank, OpenAI, and Nvidia highlights the critical role of advanced chip technologies in shaping the future of artificial intelligence. With billions of dollars at stake, these ventures represent significant milestones in the quest for innovation and technological advancement.

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